|Publication number||US20090022264 A1|
|Application number||US 12/176,056|
|Publication date||Jan 22, 2009|
|Filing date||Jul 18, 2008|
|Priority date||Jul 19, 2007|
|Also published as||CN101842052A, CN101842052B, CN103948395A, DE112008001902T5, US7751528, WO2009012453A1|
|Publication number||12176056, 176056, US 2009/0022264 A1, US 2009/022264 A1, US 20090022264 A1, US 20090022264A1, US 2009022264 A1, US 2009022264A1, US-A1-20090022264, US-A1-2009022264, US2009/0022264A1, US2009/022264A1, US20090022264 A1, US20090022264A1, US2009022264 A1, US2009022264A1|
|Inventors||Otto Z. Zhou, Guang Yang, Jianping Lu, David Lalush|
|Original Assignee||Zhou Otto Z, Guang Yang, Jianping Lu, David Lalush|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (25), Classifications (20), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The presently disclosed subject matter claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/961,175, filed Jul. 19, 2007, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
This presently disclosed subject matter was made with U.S. Government support under Grant No. US4CA119343 awarded by the National Cancer Institute. Thus, the U.S. Government has certain rights in the presently disclosed subject matter.
The subject matter described herein relates to x-ray radiography. More specifically, the subject matter describes stationary x-ray digital breast tomosynthesis systems and related methods.
Mammography is currently the most effective screening and diagnostic tool for early detection of breast cancer, and has been attributed to the recent reduction of breast cancer mortality rate. However, the nature of the two-dimensional mammogram makes it difficult to distinguish a cancer from overlying breast tissues, and the interpretation can be variable among radiologists. A higher rate of false positive and false-negative test results exist because the dense tissues interfere with the identification of abnormalities associated with tumors. Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a three-dimensional imaging technique that is designed to overcome this problem. It is a limited angle tomography technique that provides reconstruction planes in the breast using projection images from a limited angular range.
Several prototype DBT scanners have been manufactured by commercial vendors. The system designs are based on a full-field digital mammography (FFDM) unit. A mammography x-ray tube is used to collect the projection images by moving 10-50 degrees around the object. The reported total scanning time is 7-40 seconds depending on the number of views and the thickness of the breast, which is much longer than that of the regular mammography. The long imaging time can cause patient motion blur which degrades image quality and can make patients uncomfortable. Further, the power of the x-ray source, gantry rotating speed and detector frame rate limit the scanning speed of the current DBT systems.
DBT systems utilize the standard mammography x-ray tube with about a 300 μm x-ray focal spot size. Due to the gantry rotation and mechanical instability, the effective focal spot size during image acquisition is larger than the static value which degrades the image resolution. Two gantry rotation modes have been developed. One commercially-available system uses a stop-and-shoot technique. The gantry makes a full stop before taking each projection image. Acceleration/deceleration can cause mechanical instability of the system. A continuous rotation mode is used in other commercially available systems. The gantry keeps a constant rotation speed during the whole imaging process. In this case, the x-ray focal spot size is enlarged along the motion direction. The value of the enlargement depends on the rotation speed and the exposure time. It has been reported that the x-ray focal spot moves about 1 mm in a typical scan. This does not leave room for further reduction of the total scanning time, which will require a faster gantry rotation and a larger focal spot blurring.
It would be beneficial to provide x-ray imaging systems and methods having reduced data collection times and improvements for patient comfort. One or more such improvements can enable new applications for x-ray imaging of breast tissue as well as other objects. Accordingly, it is desirable to provide x-ray imaging systems and methods having one or more of these improvements.
In addition, current clinical mammography scanners use polychromatic x-ray radiation with slight energy filtering. It is known that monochromatic and quasi-monochromatic radiation provides better imaging quality and can potentially reduce the imaging dose. Currently, there is no effective way, however, to generate monochromatic or quasi-monochromatic radiation in a clinical environment that can provide sufficient x-ray photo flux. Accordingly, it is desirable to provide x-ray imaging systems and methods that can perform monochromatic or quasi-monochromatic imaging in a clinically acceptable scanning speed.
It is an object of the presently disclosed subject matter to provide novel stationary x-ray digital breast tomosynthesis systems and related methods.
An object of the presently disclosed subject matter having been stated hereinabove, and which is achieved in whole or in part by the presently disclosed subject matter, other objects will become evident as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings described hereinbelow.
The subject matter described herein will now be explained with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:
The subject matter disclosed herein is directed to multi-beam field emission x-ray (MBFEX, also referred to as multi-pixel field emission x-ray) systems and techniques that can utilize a plurality of field emission x-ray sources, an x-ray detector, and projection image reconstruction techniques. Particularly, the systems and techniques disclosed herein according to one aspect can be applied to x-ray digital tomosynthesis. In accordance with one embodiment, a plurality of field emission x-ray sources can irradiate a location for positioning an object to be imaged with x-ray beams for generating projection images of the object. An x-ray detector can detect the projection images of the object. A projection image reconstruction function can reconstruct tomography images of the object based on the projection images of the object. The subject matter disclosed herein enables increased scanning speed, a simplification of system design, and image quality enhancements.
In one application, the subject matter disclosed herein can be a stationary digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) system that utilizes a carbon nanotube based MBFEX system. The MBFEX system can include an array of individually programmable x-ray pixels that can be substantially evenly placed to cover a wide field of view. Projection images can be acquired by electronically switching on and off the individual x-ray pixels without mechanical motion of any of the x-ray source, the detector, or the object.
In one embodiment of the subject matter described herein, projection images of an object can be collected sequentially, one at a time, from different viewing angles by electronically switching on and off individual x-ray source pixels. The x-ray source pixels can be spatially distributed. Each pixel can be switched on for a predetermined time and a predetermined current to deliver a predetermined amount of dosage to the object. The transmitted x-ray intensity from a particular x-ray source pixel can be detected and recorded by an x-ray detector. The spacing between the x-ray beam pixels and the number of pixels can be varied to provide angular coverage and the number of projection images desired. The projection images collected from different viewing angles can be processed to reconstruct tomography images of the object to reveal the internal structure of the object. In one example, the x-ray source can include a total of between about ten and one-hundred x-ray focal spots (e.g., twenty-five (25) x-ray source pixels) positioned along an arc that can cover a viewing range of between about 10 and 100 degrees (e.g., 30-50 degree viewing range). The focal spots define a plane that is substantially perpendicular to an imaging plane of the x-ray detector.
In one embodiment of the subject matter described herein, one or a plurality of monochromators can be used to generate monochromatic x-ray radiation for imaging an object. Such monochromatic x-ray radiation can be produced using Bragg diffraction. Quasi-monochromatic x-ray beams can be generated by placing filters in front of an x-ray window that receives polychromatic x-ray radiation. By selecting the filtering material and thickness of the material, quasi-monochromatic radiation with a narrow energy window can be produced. This, however, typically includes the use of 200th to 500th value layer filtering material. This means that 99.5 to 99.8% of the x-ray intensity is attenuated by the filter. The low x-ray flux has prevented the use of monochromatic x-ray radiation for clinical imaging.
In one example of monochromatic x-ray radiation, the generated monochromatic x-ray radiation can be utilized for imaging a breast. An advantage of monochromatic and quasi-monochromatic x-ray radiation includes improved imaging quality at reduced x-ray dose, which is important for breast imaging. The subject matter described herein can enable physicians to image human breasts using quasi-monochromatic x-ray radiation at an imaging speed that is comparable to commercially-available DBT scanners with polychromatic x-ray radiation.
One technique to overcome the obstacles of low flux and therefore long imaging time is to combine multi-beam field emission x-ray source with multiplexing x-ray imaging. Cone beam quasi-monochromatic radiation can be produced by heavy filtering. The pixilated and spatially distributed MBFEX source can generate x-ray beams from multiple projection angles without mechanical motion. A stationary DBT scanner operating in the sequential scanning mode can provide a full scan of 25 views using 85 mAs total dose with a speed that is a factor of 10 faster than the C-arm based DBT scanners at a comparable dose. Experiments have also shown that the parallel multiplexing imaging process provides a factor of N/2 (N=number of x-ray pixels) increase of the imaging speed comparing to the conventional serial imaging technique used for tomography. The combination of the gains from stationary design and multiplexing described herein (about ×100) can compensate for the loss of x-ray flux due to the use of heavy filtering (100th value layer) which enables the qM-DBT scanner to operate at a comparable scanning time as commercially-available C-arm based system, but with a better imaging quality and a reduced imaging dose.
As referred to herein, the term “nano-structured” or “nanostructure” material can designate materials including nanoparticles with particle sizes less than 100 nm, such as nanotubes (e.g., carbon nanotubes). These types of materials have been shown to exhibit certain properties that have raised interest in a variety of applications.
As referred to herein, the term “multi-beam x-ray source” can designate devices that can simultaneously or sequentially generate multiple x-ray beams, For example, the “multi-beam x-ray source” can include a field emission based multi-beam x-ray source having electron field emitters. The electron field emitters can include nano-structured materials based materials.
X-ray sources XS can be positioned for directing x-ray beams XB towards a location or position P (designated by broken lines) at which object O can be placed. The x-ray beams can be directed towards position P from several different angles. Further, x-ray sources XS, x-ray detector XD, and position P are positioned such that the generated projection images are detected by x-ray detector XD. X-ray sources XS are positioned along a substantially straight line formed by x-ray generating device XGD such that the generated x-ray beams are directed substantially towards position P and can pass through the area within position P. The line can be parallel to an imaging plane of the x-ray detector. As described in further detail below, x-ray sources XS can be arranged in any suitable position such that the x-ray beams are directed substantially towards position P and the projection images are detected by x-ray detector XD. The x-ray sources and x-ray detector can be stationary with respect to one another during irradiation of an object by the x-ray sources and detection of the projection images by the x-ray detector. The x-ray sources can be controlled for sequential activation one at a time for a predetermined dwell time and predetermined x-ray dose.
After passing through object O at position P, x-ray beams XB can be detected by x-ray detector XD. X-ray detector XD can be a high frame rate, digital area x-ray detector configured to continuously capture x-ray beams XB. After all or at least a portion of x-ray beams XB are collected and stored as x-ray signal data in a memory, a projection image reconstruction function PIRF can reconstruct tomography images of object O based on the projection images of the object O.
The tomography images can be constructed by using a suitable technique to obtain multi-projection images of an object from multiple x-ray sources using a single detector. Common techniques include shift-and-add, filtered back projection, ordered subsets convex maximum likelihood, etc.
According to another aspect of the subject matter disclosed herein, x-ray sources can be positioned along an arc defined by the x-ray generating device. The arc can define a plane that can be substantially perpendicular to an imaging plane of the x-ray detector.
According to another aspect of the subject matter disclosed herein, x-ray sources can include focal spots positioned along a two-dimensional plane or matrix on an x-ray anode.
According to another aspect of the subject matter disclosed herein, x-ray sources can be positioned along a line, evenly spaced, and angled for directing x-ray beams towards an object.
The x-ray source can be housed in a vacuum chamber having a 30 μm thick molybdenum (Mo) window. The window can function as a radiation filter. Each pixel can comprise a carbon nanotube cathode, a gate electrode to extract the electrons, and a set of electron focusing lenses (e.g., Einzel-type electrostatic focusing lenses) to focus the field emitted electrons to a small area (focal spot) on the target. The focal spots can be substantially the same size. The sizes of the focal spots and/or the x-ray flux generated by the x-ray sources can be adjusted by the controller. Alternatively, the focal spots can range between about 0.05 mm and 2 mm in size. The system is designed for an isotropic 0.2×0.2 mm effective focal spot size for each x-ray source pixel. The individual focal spot size can be adjusted by adjusting the electrical potentials of the focusing electrodes. To minimize the current fluctuation and delay and to reduce pixel to pixel variation, an electrical compensation loop can be incorporated to automatically adjust the gate voltage to maintain a constant pre-set emission current. The area of the carbon nanotube cathode can be selected such that a peak x-ray tube current of about 10 mA can be obtained with the effective focal spot size of 0.2×0.2 mm. A higher x-ray peak current of 50-100 mA can be obtained by increasing the carbon nanotube area and the focal spot size.
X-ray sources XS can be positioned for directing x-ray beams XB towards position P at which object O is placed. The x-ray beams can be directed towards and through position P from several different angles. Further, x-ray sources XS, x-ray detector XD, and position P are positioned such that the generated projection images are detected by x-ray detector XD. To collect the projection images of object O from different angles for tomosynthesis, controller CTR can sequentially activate an array of electron emitting pixels, as described in further detail below, which are spatially distributed over a relatively large area. X-ray sources XS are positioned such that the generated x-ray beams are directed at least substantially to position P. Each x-ray source XS can include a field emitter operable to generate an electron beam and operable to direct the electron beam to a focal point of a target. The emitted electron beam can be accelerated to the target where a scanning x-ray beam originates for different points over a large area of the target. The controller CTR can further vary the intensity of the x-ray radiation based on the distance between x-ray source XS and object O such that the x-ray dose delivered to object O from every viewing angle is the same.
X-ray sources XS can be positioned such that x-ray generating device XGD provides a substantially even 2 degree angular spacing between the x-ray focal spots at a source-to-detector distance of about 64.52 cm. The position and the orientation of the individual x-ray target can be such that the center axis of a generated x-ray cone beam goes through an iso-center OC, which can either be a location on object O to be imaged or a point on x-ray detector XD. The cone-shaped x-ray beams can have substantially the same x-ray intensity distribution on the object. Further, x-ray sources can produce x-ray radiation having different energy spectra.
After passing through object O at position P, x-ray beams XB can be detected by x-ray detector XD. After all or at least a portion of x-ray beams XB are collected and stored as x-ray signal data in a memory, a projection image reconstruction function PIRF can reconstruct tomography images of object O based on the projection images of the object O.
In system 400, the x-ray beam originating from a focal point can be generated by the electron beam from a corresponding pixel on a cathode. A scanning x-ray beam can be generated by sequentially activating individual pixels. A constant high DC voltage (about 0-100 KVp) can be applied between the x-ray anode and the gate electrode. A variable DC voltage (about 0-2 kV) can be applied on the gate electrode. Alternatively, the x-ray anodes can be configured at different voltages to produce x-ray radiation with multiple energies. For example, for a system having 25 x-ray sources, 12 anodes can be configured at low voltage, and 13 anodes can be configured at high voltage. Such a configuration enables the system for dual-energy imaging.
Switching on and off the individual emitting pixel can be effected by an electronic circuit (e.g., a MOSFET circuit) connected to the cathode. The electronic circuit can be used to individually control the x-ray intensities from the different x-ray focal spots XS (e.g., x-ray sources XS1 and XS2) such that they can either be the same or be modulated to deliver a desired intensity or intensity distribution on object O to be imaged. An x-ray beam can be produced from a corresponding focal point when the electron beam bombards the anode surface of the target. To generate a scanning beam, a pulsed voltage with a predetermined pulse width can be scanned across the individual MOSFETs. At each point, the channel can be “opened” to generate an electron beam from the pixel, which can lead to the generation of an x-ray beam from the corresponding focal point on the target. To minimize the fluctuation of the x-ray flux, the cathode can be operated at a constant current mode. The gate voltage can be adjusted automatically to maintain the emission current and thus x-ray flux from each pixel to within a desired level.
The 25 x-ray source pixels of x-ray generating device XGD can span a distance of 57.45 cm from end-to-end. At a source-to-object distance of 64.52 cm, the device provides 48 degree coverage with a substantially even 2 degree angular spacing between adjacent pixels. The linear spacing between adjacent x-ray source pixels can vary to provide even angular spacing. The x-ray beams can be collimated to a 23.04 cm field-of-view (FOV) at the phantom plane. If the x-ray source pixels are arranged in a linear line parallel to the detector plane rather than an arc, the pixel-to-source distance can vary from pixel to pixel. In one option to compensate this variation in x-ray beam traveling distance, the x-ray tube current from each pixel can be individually adjusted such that the flux at the phantom surface remains the same. In another solution, the image intensities can be normalized in the reconstruction process. The phantom can be placed on a stage for positioning with a 2.54 cm air gap between the detector and the phantom.
At block 604, controller CTR can control x-ray detector XD to acquire the ith image. Particularly, x-ray detector XD can acquire the projection image of object O generated by the ith x-ray source(s). Controller CTR can determine whether acquisition of images from all i groups of x-ray sources has been completed (block 606). If it is determined that images have not been acquired from all i groups of x-ray sources, controller CTR can increment variable i by 1 (block 608) and the process can proceed to block 502 to acquire images from the remaining groups of x-ray sources.
If it is determined that images have been acquired from all i groups of x-ray sources, projection image reconstruction function PIRF can reconstruct tomography images of object O based on the projection images of the object (block 610). At block 612, a display of computer COM can display the reconstructed slice images of object O.
At block 704, controller CTR can control x-ray detector XD to acquire the ith image. Particularly, x-ray detector XD can acquire the projection image of object O generated by the ith x-ray source(s). Controller CTR can determine whether acquisition of images from all i groups of x-ray sources has been completed (block 706). If it is determined that images have not been acquired from all i groups of x-ray sources, controller CTR can increment variable i by 1 (block 708) and the process can proceed to block 702 to acquire images from the remaining groups of x-ray sources.
After image acquisition, projection image reconstruction function PIRF can apply tomosynthesis reconstruction (block 710) and display the reconstructed images via the display of computer COM (block 712). Alternatively, if the x-ray beams were multiplexed, projection image reconstruction function PIRF can demultiplex the images (block 714), apply tomosynthesis reconstruction (block 716) and display the reconstructed images via the display of computer COM (block 718).
Any suitable multiplexing imaging technique can be utilized in a system in accordance with the subject matter described herein. In this imaging mode, all or a sub-group of x-ray source pixels can be switched on simultaneously to illuminate the object. One example of a multiplexing technique includes a frequency division multiplexing. By using a multiplexing technique, the total image collection time can be significantly increased.
In one example of a multiplexing technique, an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing technique can be utilized. In this example, pulsed x-ray signals are generated and each x-ray beam can have a unique pulse width and repetition rate. Further, in this example, the detector records the transmitted x-ray intensity from the “on” x-ray pixels as a function of time. The recorded image is then de-multiplexed in the frequency domain to obtain the projection images from the individual pixels.
In another example of a multiplexing technique, a binary multiplexing technique can be utilized. An example of a binary multiplexing technique is described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/804,897, titled “Methods, Systems, and Computer Program Products for Binary Multiplexing X-Ray Radiography, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety and which is commonly assigned to the same entities as the present patent application. In this example, a sub-set of the x-ray beams is switched on sequentially. The individual projection images are obtained by a linear combination of the composite images from the sub-sets.
X-ray sources may be triggered sequentially and projection images acquired accordingly.
In accordance with the subject matter described herein, the field emission x-ray sources can each include a field emission cathode, a gate electrode that extracts electrons from the cathode when an electrical field is applied between the gate and the cathode, a focusing unit that focuses the field emitted electrons to a defined focal area on an anode, and the anode that produces the x-ray radiation when it is bombarded by the electron beam. The field emission cathode can includes carbon nanotubes, nanowires, and/or microfabricated tips. The gate electrodes can be either controlled individually or connected electrically.
For purposes of experimentation, one embodiment of a system in accordance with the subject matter disclosed herein was constructed.
System 900 includes a field emission x-ray source array. The construction of the 25 x-ray source pixels is substantially identical.
Electron field emitter FE can be controlled by a suitable controller (such as controller CTR shown in
Cathode C can be grounded, and other electrodes maintained at constant voltages during imaging acquisition. The gate voltage determines the x-ray tube current. Below a threshold, there is no current, and the current increases exponentially with gate voltage above the threshold. In one example, each x-ray pixel can provide a tube current of between 0.1 and 1 mA at 40 kVp. The controller is operable to apply voltage pulses of different frequencies to the gates of the MOSFET.
Further, x-ray source XS can include an anode A having a focus spot for bombardment by electron beam EB. A voltage difference can be applied between anode A and gate electrode GE such that a field is generated for accelerating electrons emitted by electron field emitter FE toward a target structure TS of anode A. The target structure can produce x-ray beams having a predetermined signal upon bombardment by electron beam EB. X-ray source XS can include focusing electrodes FEL1 and FEL2 for focusing electrons extracted from electron field emitter FE on target structure TS and thus reduce the size of electron beam EB. Focusing electrodes FEL1 and FEL2 can be controlled by application of voltages to the focusing electrodes by a voltage source. The voltage applied to the focusing electrodes controls the electron trajectory. The gate voltage can be varied depending on required flux.
Electron field emitter FE and gate electrode GE can be contained within a vacuum chamber with a sealed interior at about 10−7 Torr pressure. The interior of the vacuum chamber can be evacuated to achieve a desired interior pressure. X-ray radiation can travel from the interior of the vacuum chamber to its exterior through an x-ray permeable portion or window. In one example, the x-ray permeable portion or window can be a beryllium (Be) or molybdenum (Mo) window. The molybdenum anode and filter combination can be used for breast imaging among other applications. Up to a 40 keV high voltage can be applied on anode A. Anode A can be suitably shaped and/or angled such that the generated x-ray beams are transmitted toward an object from a plurality of different viewing angles. The targeted performance for the source is that each x-ray source pixel can provide a 10 mA peak current at 200 μm×200 μm effective focal spot size. Alternatively, the energy filter can comprise Cerium, and the voltage applied on anode A can be in the range of 60-80 kV.
To reconstruct slice images, an iterative ordered-subset convex (OSC) technique can be used by the reconstruction function based on a maximum-likelihood model. The reconstruction technique applies a sharing method to convert all projections images to a common frame of reference, and then uses a pre-computed cone-beam model to project and back-project in the common frame. To reduce the computation load, non-cubic voxels are reconstructed. This technique has been verified on both simulated data and breast phantom images measured from a field emission x-ray source array with a limited number of pixels.
Table 1 shows a comparison of system 900 shown in
of FIG. 9
X-Ray kVp, mA
300 μm +
300 μm +
Cs: I a-silicon
19.5 × 24.4
18.00 × 23.04
23.9 × 30.5
24 × 29 cm
pixel pitch: 70
pitch: 127 μm
pitch: 85 μm
μm (140 μm
0.6 s/0.3 s
11.2 s for 25
7 s for 11
20 s/39.2 s
18 s for 11
*Additional focal spot blur due to the gantry movement during exposure
**Total scan time = (view number) × (cycle time); cycle time = (readout time) + (integration time)
Advantages of a system in accordance with the subject matter disclosed herein over commercially available systems include: (1) the total spot size of system 900 is 200 μm while the values of other systems are 300 μm or larger; (2) the stationary design provides less gantry vibration by eliminating the mechanical movement; and (3) the exposure time matches the detector integration window. The targeted total scan time (8.8 s in binning mode and 11.2 s in full-resolution mode, 25 viewing angles) is shorter, which can be further reduced by increasing the x-ray tube current which requires relaxing of the focal spot size.
The energy spectrum of the x-ray source of system 900 was measured at 28 keV using a Si-pin photodiode detector. The energy filters used can be selected such that the x-ray radiation from each of the x-ray focal spots have the same energy spectrum. The spectrum is consistent when measured at different locations within the field of view and from different x-ray source pixels. The experimentally measured energy spectrum of system 900 (
In this experiment, nine of the pixels of system 900 shown in
Gate Voltage and Standard Deviation of Pixels
of Current (mA)
The voltage difference can be compensated by the variable resistors in the controller. With the improvement of fabrication technique and cathode quality control, the variation can be reduced. The current stability was determined by measuring the current of 100 pulsed x-rays at constant voltage. The standard deviation of the current is less than 0.03 mA for all pixels tested.
In this experiment, the designed x-ray focal spot size is about 200×200 μm for all 25 x-ray sources. The actual values were measured following the European standard EN12543-5. A customized cross wire phantom made of 1 mm tungsten wire was fabricated to measure the focal spot size along two orthogonal directions simultaneously. The phantom was placed close to the x-ray source to obtain the large magnification factor. The voltages applied to the two focusing electrodes were first varied to optimize the focal spot size. It was found that the optimal focal spot size is achieved when the two focusing electrodes are at 500 V and 1600 V, respectively. A typical projection image of the cross phantom is shown in
Table 3 shows the focal spot size measurement of the nine x-ray source pixels.
Focal Spot Size Measurement of Pixels
Fx: Parallel to
to X-Ray Source
The results shown in Table 3 agree well with the designed specification of 0.20×0.20 mm. The x-ray sources have an isotropic focal spot with an average value of 0.19 mm. Measurements from different x-ray sources are also consistent.
Tomosynthesis reconstruction requires precise system geometry parameters. An analytic method was applied based on identification of ellipse parameters for the geometry calibration, which was first established for cone-beam CT calibration. A phantom with two point objects with known distance was machined. The geometry parameters of the 25 x-ray sources were individually calibrated. Six projection images of the phantom (60-degree rotation in-between) were acquired for each pixel. The traces of the two balls form two ellipses on the detector plane. The parameters, including the source-to-detector distance and x-ray source offset values on the detector plane, can be further calculated based on these elliptical curves. The source-to-detector distance is calculated to be 69.3 cm with 2 mm uncertainty. The distances between the x-ray sources are also calculated. The results agree with the design values within 1 mm uncertainty.
In one embodiment, an anti-scattering component can be positioned between the x-ray detector and the location for positioning the object. In particular, one-dimensional or two-dimensional anti-scattering grids can be made to utilize the advantage of linear MBFEX. For instance, in the case of a two-dimensional grid, the anti-scattering component can be adjusted based on a position of one or more of the x-ray sources being activated. Alternatively, in the case of a one-dimensional anti-scattering grid, the grid lines can run in either parallel or perpendicular to the linear/arc direction of the MBFEX. The grid geometry can be tailored to enable fan-beam reconstruction to enhance the tomographic image quality and increase the reconstruction speed.
Using such an anti-scattering component, a cone beam x-ray source can be used to produce fan-beam reconstructed tomography images of an object. For example, referring again to
It will be understood that various details of the presently disclosed subject matter may be changed without departing from the scope of the presently disclosed subject matter. Furthermore, the foregoing description is for the purpose of illustration only, and not for the purpose of limitation.
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|WO2012155201A1 *||May 17, 2012||Nov 22, 2012||Newsouth Innovations Pty Ltd||A method and apparatus for generating a representation of an internal structure of an object|
|WO2013184103A1 *||Jun 5, 2012||Dec 12, 2013||Rapiscan Systems, Inc.||Optimization of the source firing pattern for x-ray scanning systems|
|WO2014028930A1 *||Aug 19, 2013||Feb 20, 2014||The University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill||Stationary gantry computed tomography systems and methods with distributed x-ray source arrays|
|U.S. Classification||378/5, 378/37, 378/14, 378/9|
|International Classification||A61B6/04, A61B6/02|
|Cooperative Classification||A61B6/584, A61B6/4291, A61B6/502, A61B6/482, A61B6/405, A61B6/4028, G06T11/006, G06T2211/436, A61B6/025|
|European Classification||A61B6/02D, G06T11/00T3, A61B6/50D, A61B6/48D, A61B6/40D2|
|Sep 29, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL, THE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ZHOU, OTTO Z.;YANG, GUANG;LU, JIANPING;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:021606/0610;SIGNING DATES FROM 20080910 TO 20080922
Owner name: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL, THE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ZHOU, OTTO Z.;YANG, GUANG;LU, JIANPING;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20080910 TO 20080922;REEL/FRAME:021606/0610
|Aug 27, 2009||AS||Assignment|
|Apr 11, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH), U.S. DEPT. OF
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY LICENSE;ASSIGNOR:THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CHAPEL HILL;REEL/FRAME:028025/0815
Effective date: 20090826
|May 29, 2012||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Sep 25, 2012||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Nov 11, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4